Where's Dover the Bicentennial Bear?

Dover Bear gets ready to take a trolley tour of Westlake's historical sites.

Hey kids (of all ages), "Dover" the wandering Bicentennial Bear from the Westlake Historical Society has found another interesting and historical place! Every month, Dover travels to a different location in Westlake and reports back to us on what he finds.

This month, Dover Bear decided to join the historic Lolly The Trolley tour of Westlake. The Community Services Department organized the tour of Westlake’s historic homes on Sept. 15. Will Krause, assistant planning director for the city of Westlake narrated the tour, and Lysa Stanton, president of the Historical Society was also aboard.

Dover had the opportunity to see all the wonderful historical sites in Westlake, and he enjoyed hearing many interesting facts about our town. He learned that Westlake currently has 188 century homes and buildings and there are also many barns located within our city limits. He even had the chance to visit with a real horse.

The trolley was traveling down Center Ridge Road, near the Westlake Recreation Center, when Dover Bear saw a most wonderful sandstone house. He jumped off the trolley to get an even better bear’s-eye view of this house.

A very nice member of the Westlake Historical Society let him inside this home, even though it is currently being refurbished. This house is very special and is recognized by the Ohio Historical Society with a beautiful marker in the front yard.

According to the marker, this house is called the Weston House, although it was originally built for Austin and Roxanna Lilly. The sandstone was from a local quarry and is very heavy. The stone section of the house dates back to 1844.

After the last member of the Lilly family left in 1867, several others have called this house home, including stagecoach driver James Beardsley and August Trudel. The home’s namesake, George Weston, lived here for many years, before purchasing 120 acres of land where Tri-C Corporate College now sits.

More recently, the home was purchased by a developer, and then by a descendant of the Weston family.  They were kind enough to give this treasure to the city of Westlake for use as a museum. The Westlake Historical Society currently leases it from the city, and is working to develop it into a museum of early Dover history.

Dover learned that this house holds another special honor. It is one of only two places listed in the National Register of Historic Places here in Westlake (along with the Clague House). A special plaque will be placed here so that everyone will know of this distinction.

The nice person from the historical society told Dover that if anyone in the community would like to help with the refurbishment of the home or donate any funds to help pay for the work, to please call the society at 440-721-1201.

Read More on Westlake Bicentennial
Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 3:05 PM, 09.20.2011